Before starting the game it, is very important to arrange the board in the right manner.
Your chess board is an 8×8 board. Keep the board in such a manner such that the right hand corner on your side is white ("white on the right"). On that white square, keep the elephant (known as 'rook' in chess) and also on the black square on the left corner on the same side i.e. the same row. Then, next to the rooks, place the horse (knight) followed by the ministers (bishop).
Now is the part where many amateurs make a mistake; that is in arranging the king and the queen. It is very important that you arrange these two pieces properly as the game may change, if you do not arrange them properly. While arranging these pieces, the black queen goes on a black square and the white queen goes on a white square ("queen on her own color"). The king goes on the only remaining empty square on your side, next to the queen.
Fill the next row with your eight pawns.